Friday, September 29, 2006

Miguel The Blackhearted

The state of TIAH

September 29th, 2006

in 1547, the great pirate Miguel de Cervantes was born outside of Madrid, Spain. He spent his youth as a traveling adventurer across Europe, but was captured by Barbary pirates in 1575, along with his brother Roderigo. Since they had no one to ransom them, they were soon taken into the pirate fold, given small jobs on the ship, and then, during a climactic battle off the coast of Sicily, defended the captain of his vessel from certain death at the hands of the Sicilian sailors. The captain took de Cervantes under his wing and taught him the ways of the sea, and in 1583, de Cervantes took command of the ship when the captain drowned from a fall off the ship's bow. "Miguel the Blackhearted" was a feared name during the 1580's and 90's, sinking many vessels and terrorizing the Mediterranean with his ship, The Impossible Dream.

in 1972, As Professor Karl Ainsworth hunts for the wild animal that has killed two people near the Lascaux Cave, his colleague Dr. Roman Pelliot tries to relax in his home in the village. The events of the last few days have made him reconsider his chosen profession, and he has stayed up late into the night drinking to try to forget some of the horrors he has witnessed. Just as he is preparing to sleep off the stupor, he hears a familiar scraping noise from his front hall. Meanwhile, Ainsworth and the villagers who are on the hunt find more than they bargained for when they run into what looks like a pack of wolves attacking something. They fire several shots into the pack, but apparently hit none of the wolves, although they do drive the animals away. Professor Ainsworth is first to the body that the wolves had been devouring, and sees the tattered remains of a policeman's uniform, and the even more tattered remains of the policeman who filled it. One of the villagers coming up beside him says, "Merde, it's Jean-Paul." Ainsworth thought the name sounded familiar, and asked, "Was he one of the officers that went into the cave to collect that body?" The villager said, "Oui, I think so." Ainsworth set off at a run for his car, and drove without regard for safety to Dr. Pelliot's house. When he got there, he found the front door wide open, and signs of a struggle inside. Dr. Pelliot was nowhere to be found.

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